Member for Lismore, Thomas George and Nationals Candidate for Lismore, Austin Curtin today declared their support for a milk levy, not only through drought, but all the time.

Kyogle farmer Shane Hickey launched a petition in conjunction with Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation calling on the major supermarkets to increase the price on all milk by 10 cents per litre and for processors to guarantee that the full amount will go directly back to the farmers.

Mr George said he fully supports the efforts of this petition, however, believes it could go further in challenging the major supermarkets to support farmers regardless of whether there is a drought.

“While the Northern Rivers has faired the drought better than other areas in NSW, the low farm gate price of milk and higher feed costs has had a major impact on the productivity of our farmers.

“An increase of 10 cents per litre would hardly be noticed by consumers. However, it would be a godsend to dairy farmers, not only in NSW, but right across the eastern coast of Australia.

“The challenge was put to me by Mr Hickey via social media and I have spoken to him personally, giving him my full support for the campaign.” Mr George said.

Nationals Candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin said the dairy industry has a strong history on the North Coast and politicians should do what they can to fight to keep the industry viable.

“Through my work supporting Tenterfield Shire Council’s Drought Appeal I have seen firsthand how scarce and expensive high-quality hay is at the moment.

“The regular operating and feed costs for dairy farmers are high during a good season, let alone when they are competing with other primary producers during the drought.

“It’s about time the major supermarket chains gave our farmers a fair go, not only now, but also into the future.” Mr Curtin said.

Details of the petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/petition-coles-woolworths-for-a-10-cent-litre-drought-levy-on-all-milk